Smoke inhalation is one of the leading causes of death resulting from fires. When a victim inhales smoke, it produces injury through several mechanisms, including:
• Thermal injury to the upper airway
• Irritation or chemical injury to the airways from soot
• Toxicity from carbon monoxide (CO) and other gases such as cyanide
If the fire that resulted in injury was caused by the negligent actions of another party, the victim may be entitled to monetary compensation. These cases can be complicated. As such, it is imperative to immediately hire an Orange County personal injury attorney who specifically handles fire accident cases.
What Is Smoke Inhalation?
Smoke inhalation happens when you breathe in the products of combustion during a fire. Combustion results from the rapid breakdown of a substance by heat (more commonly referred to as burning). Smoke is a mixture of heated particles and gases. The exact composition of smoke or type of smoke produced by fire depends on the products being burned, the temperature of the fire, and the amount of oxygen available.
What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Smoke Inhalation?
There many symptoms you may develop after exposure to smoke. If you notice any of these, it is imperative that you immediately seek medical attention. Common symptoms of smoke inhalation include:
• Cough – The smoke irritates the respiratory tract causing it to secrete mucus. Bronchospasm and increased mucus lead to reflex coughing. The mucus may be either clear or black, depending on the degree of burned particles deposited in the lungs and trachea.
• Shortness of breath – Shortness of breath may be caused by direct injury to the respiratory tracts leading to a decreased level of oxygen in the blood. This can result in rapid breathing or shortness of breath.
• Hoarseness or noisy breathing – Hoarseness or noisy breathing may be a sign that fluids are trapped in the upper airway where they may cause a blockage. Another reason for this symptom may be irritation of the vocal cords causing spasm and constriction of the airways.
• Eye irritation – Smoke inhalation can easily cause the eyes to become red and irritated. Smoke exposure and inhalation can also burn the corneas.
• Change in skin color – Smoke inhalation can change the skin color, ranging from pale to bluish to cherry red.
• Headache – Exposure to any fire can cause victims to inhale various amounts of carbon monoxide. Headaches is a major symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Smoke Inhalation Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved has suffered a smoke inhalation injury in an accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation.
The Orange County smoke injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas advocate for our clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and aggressive lawyering. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas at 949-727-9300.
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